Friday, September 26, 2014

Artichokes and Pancetta Puff Pastry Cups

Crispy and cheesy puff pastry cups filled with the perfect combination of delicate artichokes and savory pancetta. 
Here is a perfect party snack, or an amazing way to start a delicious meal. Either way, this step-by-step recipe will show you how easy is to make this exquisite appetizer. Using frozen puff pastry makes  the job super easy and fast. Just thaw the pastry sheets, prepare the stuffing in only a few minutes and throw in the oven.
These savory cups are crispy and cheesy. Every bite is filled with the delicate and sweet flavor of the artichokes, complemented by the scrumptious taste of the pancetta.
And did you know that artichokes are one of the top vegetables with high antioxidant levels? With all the pancetta in this recipe, we might need all the antioxidants we can get to help protects the healthy cells in our body. Great example of a balanced diet :-) 
Buon appetito!!

Ingredients: to make 18 cups (serving 6-9 people)

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 9 oz (about 1.5 cups) of frozen artichoke hearts (I used the Trader Joe's frozen )
  • 4 oz of pancetta
  • 6 oz (about 1.5 cups) of shredded  mozzarella cheese
  • 4 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons of whipping cream
  • 2 sheets of frozen puff pastry (I used the Pepperidge Farm - 1.1 lb)
  • 1 egg
  • salt

Preparation time: 45 minutes
Step 1: Thaw the pastry sheets at room temperature for about 30-40 minutes. In the mean time, rinse the artichoke hearts with water for about 1 minute in a colander. Cut them in small slices and sautes' in a pan with the olive oil for about 5 minutes, over medium heat. Salt to taste.

Step 2: Cut the pancetta in strips and add to the pan. Saute' only for a couple of minutes.

Step 3: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Unfold the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Stretch the pastry a little bit, and cut each sheet into 9 squares. Each square should be bigger than the muffin mold cup (I used silicone )  as shown in my picture. Push down with your finger in the middle, and keep the sides up. The pastry can stretch a little, but careful not to break it.

Step 4: Mix the mozzarella, Parmesan cheese and the whipping cream with the artichokes. Divide the mixture into each cup evenly.

Step 5: Close the cups by pulling together the four corners of the pastry square. Seal tightly by pressing the corners together and folding down a little bit, to make sure the cups will not open while baking.

Step 6: Beat the egg in a small bowl, and brush it on top of each cup. This will give a nice golden color to the puff pastry.

Step 7: Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, until golden on top.

Serve hot or warm. Enjoy!!

This recipe was also published on Honest Cooking:

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